Office Renovation Progress Part 1

Long, long ago, I shared my inspiration for where I want to take our home office, and these “Before” photos – Beige walls, shaggy cat pee reeking carpet, and a hodgepodge of bookshelves, mismatched desks, and printers sitting on blue totes containing our files. 

Remember that? I’m glad it’s a distant memory now. One Saturday morning I awoke to a clatter, and when I came to the living room I discovered all of our office stuff crammed into the living and dining rooms, and the carpet ripped out. It was a bitter sweet surprise. On the one hand, I was excited that Brian took initiative to tear into the project, and on the other, I knew we didn’t even have new flooring purchased, and I dreaded having to eat on the couch and navigate the stacks of books for months on end.

Thankfully, we made good time. Brian repainted the room while I was traveling to a lovely light blue.

And after a few more weeks, we found matching bamboo flooring and a friend willing to spend a day helping lay it. Thanks Paul!


Then we moved the hodgepodge back inside the now bright and happy space.

But first, we put in “built-in” bookshelves. It took a few trips to Ikea, but we used the Billy bookshelves with height extensions and two of the half glass doors, along with bookcase lights. 

Yes, there’s a big gap in the middle of the wall, and there’s a reason for that. We planned to build a Murphy bed, you know, those ones that fold up into a cabinet? One of those was supposed to go there – before Edison was born, so the office could double as another guest room. Yeah, he’s a year 
old, and that bed still isn’t built. But maybe by the time he’s having sleepovers, it will be ready. In the meantime, it’s the perfect spot for the play pen!
On the other side of the room, we added navy curtains (also from Ikea) and a double curtain rod, so we could hang sheers and still let in plenty of light. I also moved my desk so that I could look out the window when working. 
Up next: I’ll show you how we upgraded our desks, and found a better storage solution for my craft supplies than the pile in the corner.
 We’re still putting on the finishing touches, like getting a nice rug, desk chairs, and a cool chalkboard/bulletin board/calendar situation. It remains to be seen!
And arranging the bookshelves. There’s always more to be done on that front.
Here’s the inspiration photos from this post. After all this time, I’m still torn on which color scheme I like better! 
While it’s been a loooong, gradual process, it’s amazing how much progress you can make a little bit at a time. This room has come a long way from it’s humble cat pee beginnings! 

White to Bright: Office Makeover Inspiration

White is so hot right now. 
Sleek, modern, pure, and accented with gold and soft pastels. As much as I admire the Scandinavian look (and Bonnie’s office above is LOVELY) that workspace just doesn’t work for me. I’d feel like I’d always need my nails done, fresh peonies, and a latte in order to work. It’s just not sustainable.
Creativity is messy! However, there’s a big difference between a messy creative process and a messy, chaotic office. Outer calm creates inner calm. You want to be more productive? Clean off your desk. And your husband’s desk? Well, turn your chair so you can’t see it. 
Here’s what our office started with: a recipe for mediocrity. Beige walls – check. Bland shaggy carpet – check. Carpet infested with cat fur – also check. Dog won’t stop peeing on said carpet because of said cat fur – check. Tearing out the carpet first thing – CHECK.
Where to even begin? 

The balance of serenity and warmth is why I tore this photo out of Better Homes and Gardens years ago. I like the productivity boosting color scheme of blues and grays with natural textures – modern, but with warmth.

I’m inspired by this living room styled by Emily Henderson. The patterned chair, gold and brass accents, contrasting colors – it’s exciting, but not overwhelming. 
Apparently, I really like patterned chairs. For my office inspiration boards, I’m going to start there, with a vintage accent chair find from Chairish
I had a hard time choosing just one vintage chair to be the focal point – this one was a close second. With the centerpiece chosen, we can build outward and make it our own. I took my inspiration in two different ways – classic and wildcard.

Style #1: Classic

For this style board, I started with the BHG photo and added the navy gallery wall from HomeDit, but I also made it more bright and colorful with light blue and yellow. 
I like the contrast of the ornate gold frames on the navy background, and the sunny Stockholm rug from Ikea repeats the shape of the mirrors and adds warmth to the floor that’s missing in the inspiration photo. While the desk doesn’t have the weathered look of the metal one, you could always rough it up with sandpaper, if you really wanted. 
The magazine files, storage baskets, and light fixture add color, texture, and well, light, to illuminate your excellent organization. As for the print, my decor philosophy is to always add a little something French. You really can’t go wrong. 

Style #2: Wildcard

Party time! These colors feel so happy. Hot pink accents punch up the energy while the pool blue of the desk chair and curtains and white desk keep things simple. The light, pillow, and table add sparkle, but the patterned chair remains the focal point. In this room, I’d use the chair and side table to make a little reading nook.
I showed both style boards to Brian, and guess which one he liked best? He said the second one doesn’t feel like an office. But maybe that’s the point – if it feels cozy and fun, we’ll want to spend more time there. 
Although I can see the hot pink being a deterrent for one of us. 
I’ll try to post update on what we’ve done since ripping out the carpet soon. 
So, what do you think? Would you pick the classic navy, blue and yellow, or go for the wildcard hot pink? 
Let me know which is your favorite in the comments below, on Instagram, or Facebook. 

Home Office Decor Ideas and Inspiration

As I mentioned previously, I now have a home office. Now that I’m in the real working world, I’ve been browsing for ideas to make said home office a creative haven, oozing inspiration and ideas from every angle. And, for fun, I’m pretending that money is no object when designing my dream office. Here’s a few ideas I would love to recreate.

Since the closet is on the craft side of the room, this would work perfectly to store my ribbons and other supplies:

This is what I have in mind for curtains. This is a DIY project! Here’s the tutorial.

A little touch of these shabby chic and beachy ellements:

I want, no NEED this above my craft table! Ahhhh, it brings joy to my organization-loving heart:

Source: via Emily on Pinterest

This is nifty, even though I don’t really need two small desks. But I love the colors and the file baskets, and the prints hanging on the wall:

This home office is from an apartment that was featured in Better Homes and Gardens a while back. I love just about everything about it: the blue and white ikat chair, bins of fabric, the weathered desk, the sort of nautical feel from the lamps, and all the organized folders, bins, and baskets.

Source: via Emily on Pinterest

I love these lamps and the color scheme in this office, although it’s a little too bright for my taste:

Tucked-In Storage

Since I already have a black desk, this color scheme would be ideal. I love the beachy touch with the coral too, and I love blue and white china:

Around the Corner

I’ll take that Mac computer too!

What’s your organizing style? This fun quiz over at Better Homes and Gardens defines your organizational style and offers organizing solutions to fit your needs. I got “Librarian: detailed and a taskmaster, energetic, a perfectionist, sometimes to a fault.” Pretty accurate! Take the quiz, and let me know what you got!

My New Home Office: Change of Scenery

I’m not a big fan of change. But Monday night, I had an idea: what if I made the spare room currently occupied by the dog my office/craft room? I mentioned it to Brian while we were eating dinner, along with the following list:


  • I’d have a whole room all to myself and my creative ideas.
  • The dog really doesn’t need his own room.
  • My desk and the dog’s crate are close in size, so it’d take a simple swap.
  • I could listen to my music without commentary from Brian (“Your music is weird!”)
  • Brian could listen to his music without my commentary (“Could you please turn that down?!”)
  • It would mean a change of scenery. 
Brian: “So, I’d have the rest of the house to myself basically? Let’s do it right after dinner!”
Me: “But wait! I’m not ready yet! I need to think about this some more.” 

The next morning, I awoke to bumping and banging in the hallway. I knew instantly what was going on, even before Brian came in with a huge grin, “I’ve got a surprise for you!”

The craft corner:

This stuff was already there…but since taking this picture, I organized it and tidied it up. Unfortunately, I don’t want to take the time to re-take the picture, and besides, this is how it usually looks!
I’m hoping to put this corner to use to make some curtains for that window. 
The dog’s new spot: 
I still need to move that whiteboard, and ideally, add a cork board, or get something like this: 
Square Magnetic Dry-Erase Board - White
Also from, I think I’ll use my graduation money for this office set: 
Semikolon Blue & Cream Office Collection by Pierre Belvedere
Since Tuesday, I’ve already created a few projects in my new office, including making cupcakes. Yes, cupcakes, but not edible ones – vector cupcakes in Adobe Illustrator, logo ideas for my web design client. I’m pretty sure the change in scenery is helping me think outside the box…or maybe it’s just that I can finally hear myself think? (Just kidding, babe!)